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Awesome Common Lisp – Massive Collection of Resources

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A curated list of awesome Common Lisp libraries.

All libraries listed here are available from Quicklisp unless
stated otherwise. The ones marked with a ⭐ are so widespread and
solid that they became community standards. You can’t be wrong with
them. This is the case for Quicklisp, BordeauxThreads and
such. Libraries denoted with a 👍 are the ones we like and want to
promote here at the Awesome-cl list. They proved solid, they may solve
a problem better than a community standard but they aren’t as
widespread, or not considered as stable. For example, we prefer
Spinneret over Cl-Who.

This is released under the GNU Free Documentation License – its text
is provided in the LICENSE file. This repository is also mirrored on
NotABug – a fully-free (as in libre)
alternative to Github. Preference is given to free software and
sellers who aren’t evil for physical resources.

Table of Contents


  • Open Music – a visual programming, computer-aided composition environment. GPL3.
  • OM7 – a new implementation of the OpenMusic visual programming and computer-aided composition environment including a number of improvements on graphical interface, computational mode, and connection to external software libraries. GPL3.
  • Incudine – Music/DSP programming environment for Common Lisp. Useful to design software synthesizers or sound plugins from scratch. It is also a compositional tool that allows to produce high quality sounds controllable at the sample level, defining and redefining the digital signal processors and the musical structures on-the-fly.
  • cl-collider – A
    SuperCollider client for CommonLisp. With a tutorial and live coding demos. Public domain.
  • csound – A sound and music computing system. Includes CFFI and FFI interfaces for Common Lisp.
  • CLM – Common Lisp Music is a music synthesis and signal processing package in the Music V family. It provides much the same functionality as Stk, Csound, SuperCollider, PD, CMix, cmusic, and Arctic — a collection of functions that create and manipulate sounds, aimed primarily at composers (in CLM’s case anyway).
  • cl-patterns – a system for composing music via Lisp code, heavily inspired by SuperCollider’s patterns system, with aims to implement much of it, but in a more robust, expressive, consistent, reflective, and lispy way. Audio output through SuperCollider, with preliminary support for Incudine, and MIDI through ALSA.
  • cl-openal – bindings for the OpenAL audio library. Public domain.
  • Common Music – the repository of an
    ancient version of Common Music (version 2.12.0), the presumably last
    version which ran on Common Lisp dating from around 2007-09, before
    work on Common Music shifted to (scheme-based) cm3.
  • Slippery Chicken – Algorithmic composition library which outputs Midi, Common Music Notation, pdf-score via Lilypond and sound via Common Lisp Music. GPL3.
  • Common Music Notation – Common Music Notation (CMN) provides a package of functions to hierarchically describe a musical score. Public domain.
  • cm-incudine – extends Common Music 2 with realtime capabilities. GPL2.
  • Mégra – A mini-language to make music with variable-order markov chains and some other stochastic shenanigans. GPL3.
  • Music – A framework for musical expression in Lisp with a focus on music theory (built from scratch, unrelated to Common Music).
  • rq – A library for rhythm transcription in OpenMusic (version 6.10 and later). demo video. GPL3.
  • scheduler – The time based musical event scheduler for Common Lisp. Apache2.0.
  • mixalot – Loosely-coupled collection of audio libraries for mp3, ogg vorbis, flac. Used for the Shuffletron music player.
  • osc – an implementation of the Open Sound Protocol. LGPL2.1.
  • Harmony – A real-time sound processing and playback system. Artistic License 2.0.
  • mixalot – A loosely-coupled collection of audio libraries. MIT.

Build Systems

  • ASDF – Another System Definition Facility; a build system for Common Lisp. Expat.
  • asdf-linguist – Extensions for ASDF. Expat.
  • asdf-viz – a tool to visualize the library dependencies of ASDF systems, the call graph of a function and the class inheritances. LLGPL.

Compilers, code generators


  • April – The APL programming language (a subset thereof) compiling to Common Lisp. Replace hundreds of lines of number-crunching code with a single line of APL. Apache2.

C, C++

  • cmacro – Lisp macros for C. MIT.
  • C-mera – a source-to-source compiler that utilizes Lisp’s macro system for meta programming of C-like languages. GPL3.
  • lispc – a powerful “lispsy” macrolanguage for C. MIT.
  • with-c-syntax – a fun package which introduces the C language syntax into Common Lisp. (Yes, this package is not for practical coding, I think.) WTFPL Licence.
  • ecrepl – an interactive REPL for the C language. BSD_2Clause.
  • Software-Evolution-Library – The SEL enables the programmatic modification and evaluation of software (C/C++ support using Clang, compiled assembler, and linked ELF binaries). GPL3.



  • cl-monero-tools – Common Lisp toolbox to work with the Monero cryptocurrency. GPL3. Not in Quicklisp.
  • emotiq – a next-generation blockchain with an innovative natural-language approach to smart contracts. MIT.
  • peercoin-blockchain-parser – parse the blockchain contained in a file and export some of its data to a text file, a SQL script or a database. It can also create a database using the RPC of a Peercoin daemon as source of data instead of a blockchain file. LGPL3. Not in Quicklisp.
  • peercoin-calculator – This program gives you the probability of generating a POS or POW block within 10 minutes, 24 hours, 31 days, 90 days and 1 year, as well as the reward that can be expected. GUI in Qt. GPL3. Not in Quicklisp.
  • peercoin-vote – A voting system based on data from the blockchain (addresses and balances). GPL3. Not in Quicklisp.

See also legochain, a simple educational blockchain.


  • cl-yesql – SQL statements live in their own files, in SQL syntax, and are imported into Lisp as functions. You are not limited to the features a DSL supports. Based on Clojure’s Yesql. MIT.


Persistent object databases

  • bknr.datastore – a CLOS-based lisp-only database in RAM with transaction logging persistence. Manual. licence. (see also chap. 21 of “Common Lisp Recipes”)
  • ubiquitous – A library providing easy-to-use persistent configuration storage. Artistic License 2.0.
  • cl-prevalence – in-memory database system. Implementation of Object Prevalence, in which business objects are kept live in memory and transactions are journaled for system recovery. github fork. LLGPL. See also cl-prevalence-multimaster, to syncronize multiple cl-prevalence systems state.

Graph databases

  • cl-agraph, a minimal client for AllegroGraph. AllegroGraph is a horizontally distributed, multi-model (document and graph), entity-event knowledge graph technology. It is proprietary and has a free version with a limit of 5 million triples.
  • cl-neo4j – neo4j RESTFUL client interface.
  • vivace-graph – graph database & Prolog implementation. Takes design inspiration from CouchDB, neo4j and AllegroGraph. It implements an ACID-compliant object graph model with user-defined indexes and map-reduce views. It also implements a master / slave replication scheme for redundancy and horizontal read scaling. Querying the graph is accomplished via a number of Lisp methods or via a Prolog-like query language. MIT.
  • facts – an in-memory graph database with transactions and rollbacks, logging/replay and dumping/loading to/from disk. BSD-style license (ISC).


Migration tools

To third parties

  • dyna – an AWS DynamoDB ORM. MIT.
  • cl-influxdb – an interface to the Time Series Database InfluxDB. MIT.


Data Structures

  • 👍 str – a modern, simple and consistent string manipulation library. MIT.
  • 👍 FSet – A functional, set-theoretic collections data structure library. LLGPL.
  • trivial-extensible-sequences – Portability library for the extensible sequences protocol (SBCL documentation). zlib.
  • bst – Binary Search Tree. GPL3. Not in Quicklisp.
  • pileup – a portable, performant, and thread-safe binary heap for Common Lisp. MIT.
  • sycamore – a fast, purely functional data structure library. BSD_3Clause.
  • genhash – hash table implementation with API from generic methods. Public domain.
  • cl-ctrie
    lock-free, concurrent, key/value index with efficient memory-mapped persistence and fast transient storage models. MIT.
  • cl-data-structures – a portable collection of data structures and algorithms (mainly dicts and sequences, with some statistical functions). BSD.
  • listopia – a list manipulation library inspired by Haskell’s Data.List. LLGPL.
  • hash-set – a convenience library implementing hash sets on top of CL hash tables The Unlicense
  • cl-containers – an extensive library of data structures and utilities – queues, trees, heaps, doubly-linked lists, sets, bags,… MIT
  • cl-competitive – Common Lisp algorithms collection for competitive programming. Public domain, CCO or MIT.

Accessing data structures:

  • 👍 access – Consistent and nested access to most common data structures. BSD_3Clause.
  • modf – a setf-like macro for functional programming.

Other data structures:

  • bitfield – Efficiently represent several finite sets or small integers as a single non-negative integer. MIT.

Docker images

  • docker-sbcl – SBCL Docker images for Alpine, Debian, Ubuntu (amd64, arm64, arm/v7) and Windows. BSD_2Clause.
  • base-lisp-image – base
    Docker image for Common Lisp projects with SBCL or CCL and the latest
    ASDF, Qlot and Roswell.
  • lisp-devel-docker – Docker images for Lisp development. MIT.

Foreign Function Interface, languages interop



  • ABCLJ – dead easy Clojure to Common lisp interop. EPL-2.0.


  • CLERIC – a Common Lisp Erlang Interface. An implementation of the Erlang distribution protocol, comparable with erl_interface and jinterface. MIT.


  • cl+j – A JNI-based interface to a JVM via CFFI. Not available on Quicklisp. Does not reliably work with all implementations. Expat.


  • objc-lisp-bridge – A portable reader and bridge for interacting with Objective-C and Cocoa. MIT.


  • burgled-batteries – A bridge between Python and Common Lisp. The goal is that Lisp programs can use Python libraries. Not available on Quicklisp. MIT.
  • cl4py – The library cl4py (pronounce as clappy) allows Python programs to call Common Lisp libraries. MIT.
  • py4cl – A library that allows Common Lisp code to access Python libraries. It is basically the inverse of cl4py. MIT.
  • cl-python – an implementation of Python in Common Lisp. LLGPL.

See also async-process.

.Net Core

  • Bike – a cross-platform .Net Core interface. MIT.


  • Foil – A foreign object interface; works with the JVM and CLI. Not available on Quicklisp. CPL 1.0.

Game Development

  • Xelf – Extensible game library. Not available on Quicklisp. GNU LGPL2.1.
  • Trial – Trial is an OpenGL
    game engine with a heavy focus on modularity. It is supposed to
    provide a large toolkit of useful bits and pieces from which you can
    create a game. Artistic License 2.0.
  • cl-mpg123 and
    cl-out123, bindings
    libraries for libmpg123 and libout123 respectively, giving you fast
    and easy to use mp3 decoding and cross-platform audio
    output. Artistic License 2.0.
  • trivial-gamekit – with this small framework you would be able to make simple 2D games: draw basic geometric forms, images and text, play sounds and listen to mouse and keyboard input.
  • cl-gamepad – Access to gamepads and joysticks on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Artistic License 2.0.


These are libraries for working with graphics, rather than making GUIs (i.e. widget toolkits), which have their own section.

  • Sketch – A CL framework for the creation of electronic art, graphics, and lots more. MIT.
  • common-cv – the OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) binding library for CommonLisp. No license specified.
  • cl-cairo2 – Cairo bindings. Boost 1.0
  • cl-gd – A library providing an interface to the GD graphics library. FreeBSD.
  • cl-horde3d – FFI bindings to the Horde3D graphics library. Not available on Quicklisp. EPL 1.0
  • cl-jpeg – Baseline JPEG encoder and decoder library. 3-clause BSD.
  • cl-liballegro – Interface and bindings to the Allegro 5 game programming library. zlib.
  • cl-opengl – CFFI bindings to OpenGL, GLU and GLUT APIs. 3-clause BSD.
  • cl-sdl2 – Bindings for SDL2 using C2FFI. Expat.
  • cl-svg – A basic library for producing SVG files. Expat.
  • CLinch – Common Lisp 2D/3D graphics engine for OpenGL. FreeBSD.
  • donuts – Graph drawing DSL for Common Lisp. Expat.
  • dufy – exact color manipulation and conversion in various color models. MIT.
  • lispbuilder-sdl – A set of bindings for SDL. Expat.
  • lisp-magick-wand – ImageMagick bindings. BSD. Not in Quicklisp.
  • okra – CFFI bindings to Ogre. Not available on Quicklisp. 3-clause BSD.
  • opticl – a library for representing and processing images. BSD_2Clause.
  • Varjo – Lisp to GLSL translator. BSD_2Clause.
  • Vecto – Simple vector drawing library. FreeBSD.
  • zpng – A library for creating PNG files. FreeBSD.
  • pngload-fast – A PNG (Portable Network Graphics) image format decoder in portable Common Lisp with an emphasis on speed. MIT.
  • cl-cuda – A library to use NVIDIA CUDA in Common Lisp programs. LLGPL.


For an overview and a tutorial on GUI toolkits, see the Cookbook/GUI.

  • LispWork’s CAPI – A portable GUI toolkit, with mobile runtime. Proprietary, but comes with a free version.
  • 👍 Qtools – A Qt toolkit, based on CommonQt. Artistic License 2.0 Also Qtools-ui (premade UI components), with videos.
  • CommonQt – A Common Lisp binding for Qt4 via QtSmoke. FreeBSD.
  • ltk – A binding for the Tk toolkit. LLGPL or GNU LGPL2.1.
  • IUP – CFFI bindings to the IUP Portable User Interface library (pre-ALPHA). IUP is cross-platform (Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, with new Android, iOs, Cocoa and Web Assembly drivers), has many widgets, has a small api and is actively developed.
  • nodgui – Bindings for the Tk toolkit, based on Ltk, with syntax sugar and additional widgets. LLGPL.
  • cl-cffi-gtk – Binding for GTK+3. GNU LGPL2.1.
  • cl-gtk2 – A binding for GTK+2. LLGPL.
  • ceramic – Desktop web apps with Electron. Expat.
  • CocoaInterface
    Cocoa interface for Clozure Common Lisp. Build Cocoa user interface
    windows dynamically using Lisp code and bypass the typical Xcode
    processes. It has
    good documentation and a tutorial.
  • McCLIM – An implementation of the Common Lisp Interface Manager, version II. GNU LGPL2.1.
  • cl-webkit – A binding to WebKitGTK+. Also adds web browsing capabilities to an application, leveraging the full power of the WebKit browsing engine. MIT.
  • ftw – A Win32 GUI library. MIT.
  • eql, eql5, eql5-android – Embedded Qt4 and Qt5 Lisp, embedded in ECL, embeddable in Qt. Port of EQL5 to the Android platform. MIT.
  • bodge-nuklear – Wrapper over the Nuklear immediate mode GUI library. MIT.
  • Allegro’s Common Graphics– a library of functions for writing windowized GUIs for Windows, Mac and Linux. Proprietary.

See also this demo to use Java Swing from ABCL.


  • SBCL – A fork of CMUCL; compiles to machine code. Standard compliance. Public domain, with some parts under Expat and 3-clause BSD.
  • CCL – Clozure Common Lisp; compiler-only implementation, generates native code. LLGPL.
  • ECL – Embeddable Common Lisp; compiles to C. GNU LGPL2.1.
  • ABCL – Armed Bear Common Lisp; targets the JVM, compiles to bytecode. Standard conformance. GNU GPL3 with Classpath exception.
  • CMUCL – An implementation from Carnegie Mellon University. Public domain.
  • GNU CLISP – A GNU implementation; contains a compiler and an interpreter. Standard conformance. GNU GPL3.
  • CLASP – a new Common Lisp implementation that seamlessly interoperates with C++ libraries and programs using LLVM for compilation to native code. This allows Clasp to take advantage of a vast array of preexisting libraries and programs, such as out of the scientific computing ecosystem. LGPL2.1 (and others).
  • Corman Lisp – a Common Lisp development environment for Microsoft Windows running on Intel platforms. MIT.


  • LispWorks – an integrated cross-platform development tool for Common Lisp.
  • Allegro CL – provides the full ANSI Common Lisp standard with many extensions.
  • MOCL – CL as a library for mobile devices (iOS & Android) and OSX.


See also this extensive comparison of JSON libraries.


  • cl-yacclyaml – a pure lisp YAML processor (loader, but not yet dumper). GPL3.
  • cl-yaml – a YAML parser and emitter built on top of libyaml. MIT.

Language extensions

  • alexandria – A general-purpose utility library. Public domain.
  • serapeum – Another general-purpose utility library. Expat.
  • rutils – radical yet reasonable syntactic utilities for Common Lisp. MIT.
  • anaphora – A collection of anaphoric macros. Public domain.
  • trivia – Optimized pattern-matching library. LLGPL.
  • arrow-macros – Clojure-like threading macros. MIT.
  • dissect – when a lot of
    projects use the “trivial-backtrace” system that just gives them a
    string with a backtrace, Dissect allows you to capture, step, and
    completely inspect the stack trace on a variety of Lisp
    implementations. Also very useful for logging and other situations
    where execution is automatically continued, but the information of
    the current stack is still useful to store
    somewhere. Artistic License 2.0.
  • generic-cl – Generic function interface to standard Common Lisp functions (equality, comparison, arithmetic, objects, iterator, sequences,…). MIT. See also the more lightweight generic-comparability. LLGPL.
  • hu.dwim.walker – a code walker and unwalker (aka AST parser and unparser). BSD. See also this blog post.

Portability layers

A large list of portability layers is collected here. Here are some of them:

Changing the syntax

  • cl21 – An experimental project to move Common Lisp into the 21st century. Expat.
  • clamp – Arc language’s brevity and conciseness to Common Lisp. Artistic License 2.0.
  • cl-syntax – Reader syntax conventions. LLGPL.
  • cl-2dsyntax – An indentation-sensitive reader system. Not available on Quicklisp. Public domain.
  • cl-annot – Python-like annotations for Common Lisp. LLGPL.
  • cl-interpol – A set of reader modifications to allow string interpolation. BSD.
  • pythonic-string-reader – A simple and unobtrusive read table modification inspired by Python’s three quote strings. BSD_3Clause.
  • cl-reader – A utility library
    intended at providing reader macros for lambdas, mapping, accessors,
    hash-tables and hash-sets. MIT.

CLOS extensions

  • closer-mop – A compatibility layer that rectifies many absent or incorrect MOP features. Expat.
  • defclass-std – a shortcut macro to write DEFCLASS forms quickly. LLGPL.
  • specialization-store – generic functions based on types. Simplified BSD License variant.
  • filtered-functions – enable the use of arbitrary predicates for selecting and applying methods. MIT.
  • inlined-generic-function
    Bringing the speed of Static Dispatch to CLOS. LLGPL.
  • static-dispatch – allows standard generic function dispatch to be performed statically (at compile time) rather than dynamically (runtime). This is similar to what is known as “overloading” in languages such as C++ and Java. MIT.
  • dynamic-mixins – simple, dynamic class combination. BSD_2Clause.
  • fast-generic-functions – Seal your generic functions for an extra boost in performance. MIT.

Function extensions

  • cl-hooks – Hooks extension point mechanism (as known, e.g., from GNU Emacs). LGPL.
  • method-hooks – When CLOS method combination allow only one hook per method, this library allows an arbitrary number of them. Mozilla Public Licence.
  • cl-advice – an attempt of portable layer advice library for SBCL, CCL, LispWorks and Allegro. Not in Quicklisp.

See also hooks in Serapeum.


  • iterate – An iteration construct for Common Lisp which is extensible and Lispier. MIT.
  • for – A concise, lispy and extensible
    iteration macro. Unlike loop it is extensible and sensible, and
    unlike iterate it does not require code-walking and is easier to
    extend. Artistic License 2.0.
  • series – Functional style without any runtime penalty at all. MIT.
  • gmap – A concise and extensible iteration facility that has the advantage of integrating well with FSet (see the Data Structures section), as it was written by the same author. In Quicklisp as part of misc-extensions. Public domain.
  • trivial-do – Additional dolist style macros for Common Lisp. MIT.
  • doplus – another extensible iteration library, similar to :for.
  • snakes – Python style generators for Common Lisp. Includes a port of itertools. Apache2.
  • picl – An (almost) complete port of Python’s itertools package, complete with laziness where applicable, and not relying on cl-cont. MIT.
  • gtwiwtg – A lazy sequences library. Similar to ‘series’ but not as complete. However it has a ‘modern’ API with stuff like take, filter, for, fold, etc. that is easy to use.

Lambda shorthands

  • fn – a couple of lambda shorthand macros. (fn* (+ _ _)) --> (lambda (_) (+ _ _)). Public domain.
  • f-underscore – a tiny library of functional programming utils. (f_ (+ _ _)) -> (lambda (_) (+ _ _)). Public domain.
  • cl-punch – Scala-like anonymous lambda literals. (mapcar ^(* 2 _) '(1 2 3 4 5)). MIT.

See also CL21 and Rutils.

Non-deterministic, logic programming

  • cl-prolog2 – Common Interface to ISO Prolog implementations from Common Lisp. MIT.
  • Screamer – augment Common
    Lisp with practically all of the functionality of both Prolog and
    constraint logic programming
    languages. Blog post
    solving Project Euler puzzles. MIT.
  • Screamer+ – increasing the expressiveness of SCREAMER. MIT.
  • Temperance – logic programming. MIT. A focus on performance, with General Game Playing in mind.

Reactive programming

Contract programming

  • quid-pro-quo – a contract
    programming library in the style of Eiffel’s Design by Contract ™. Public domain.


  • cl-algebraic-data-type – A library for defining algebraic data types in a similar spirit to Haskell or ML. 3-clause BSD.
  • 👍 trivial-types – provides missing but important type definitions such as proper-list, association-list, property-list and tuple. LLGPL.
  • defstar – a collection of macros for easy inclusion of type declarations for arguments in lambda lists. GNU GPL3

Learning and Tutorials





  • Let Over Lambda – A book on advanced macro techniques. The first six chapters are available online.
  • On Lisp – Paul Graham’s amazing book on Lisp macros (and other interesting things).
  • Programming Algorithms – A comprehensive guide to writing efficient programs with examples in Lisp.

Web Development


  • Common Lisp Quick Reference – A distilled, pocket-size version of the ANSI CL spec. Available for download as a PDF.
  • CLHS – The Common Lisp HyperSpec; the ANSI CL standard, in hypertext form.
  • CLOS MOP specification – A modern public domain online version of chapters 5 and 6 of The Art of the Metaobject Protocol
  • Common Lisp Standard Draft (pdf) – The standard draft of the Common Lisp specifications, in a well formatted PDF with a sidebar.
  • Common Lisp the Language – The original standard for Common Lisp before the ANSI spec.
  • Minispec – A friendlier, but less-complete, version of CLHS. Also contains documentation for some commonly-used CL libraries (such as Alexandria).
  • Simplified Common Lisp reference – The simplified version of CLHS.


The CLHS is available offline via an archive and as doc sets in Dash, Zeal and Velocity.



  • ANSI Common Lisp – A thorough, practical covering of the entire language, with exercises. Not recommended as a starter text, due to some caveats.
  • Common Lisp RecipesCommon Lisp Recipes is a collection of solutions to problems and answers to questions you are likely to encounter when writing real-world applications in Common Lisp. Published in 2015.


Other books

  • Building Problem Solvers (PDF) by Ken Forbus and Johan de Kleer, made available for free by MIT Press – a unique book among standard artificial intelligence texts in combining science and engineering, theory and craft to describe the construction of AI reasoning systems, and including code illustrating the ideas.


Library Manager

  • Quicklisp – A library manager containing many libraries, with easy depencency management. Expat.
  • Ultralisp – A Quicklisp distribution which updates every 5 minutes and to which one can add his project in one click. BSD.
  • Quicksys – install systems from multiple Quicklisp distributions. MIT.
  • 👍Roswell – a Lisp implementation installer, script launcher and more. MIT.
  • qlot – A project-local library installer, similar to Bundler or Carton. Expat.
  • Quickutil – A utility manager, similar to Quicklisp, but for small utilities rather than whole libraries. 3-clause BSD.
  • clpm – A package manager for Common Lisp that strives to cleanly separate the package manager process itself from the client image that uses it. BSD_2Clause.
  • Qi – A package manager with a traditional approach. BSD.

might help:

Interfaces to other package managers

  • linux-packaging – build .deb, .rpm or .pkg packages for your application with a single ASDF declaration. Uses fpm under the hood. MIT.
  • qldeb – Quicklisp systems to debian packages, along with deb-packager (simply create a debian package by defining an s-expression) and an introductory blog post. Both MIT.
  • ql-to-deb – Update cl-* debian packages from Quicklisp releases. WTFPL.
  • dh-quicklisp-buildapp – debhelper utility to let you compile your quicklisp-based Common Lisp code into a buildapp binary in a .deb with almost no effort. MIT.
  • cl-brewer – Homebrew formula builder for (command line) common lisp applications. Public domain.

See also asdf-sbcl, a plugin for the universal package manager.

Machine Learning

  • clml – originally developed by Mathematicl Systems Inc., a Japanese company. With a tutorial. LLGPL.
  • mgl – used by its author to win the Higgs Boson Machine Learning Challenge. MIT.
  • antik – a foundation for scientific and engineering computation in Common Lisp. GPL. Also mgl-mat and LLA.

Credit:’ state of CL ecosystem 2015.

Natural Language Processing

  • cl-nlp – Natural language processing toolset. Apache2.0.
  • babel2 – A Fluid Construction Grammar implementation, computational framework, and unification-based grammar formalism Apache2.0.
  • sparser – A natural language understanding system for English. Eclipse.

Network and Internet

See Cliki for more.

HTTP clients

  • 👍 Dexador – An HTTP client, that aims at replacing Drakma. MIT.
  • Carrier – A lightweight, async HTTP client built on top of cl-async and fast-http. MIT.
  • fast-http – A fast HTTP request/response parser for Common Lisp. MIT.

HTTP Servers

  • 👍Clack – A web application environment inspired by Rack and WSGI. LLGPL. Provides a unified interface to a webserver of choice (default is Hunchentoot). With more getting started guide.
  • Hunchentoot – A web server. 2-clause BSD
  • zaserve – A portable fork of AllegroServe, by Franz Inc. LLGPL.
  • wookie – Asynchronous HTTP server. Expat.
  • woo – A fast non-blocking HTTP server on top of libev. MIT.
  • cl-http2-protocol – a pure Common Lisp transport agnostic implementation of the HTTP/2 protocol at draft-14. MIT.

Hunchentoot plugins

  • 👍 easy-routes – a routes handling system on top of Hunchentoot. It supports dispatch based on HTTP method, arguments extraction from the url path, decorators, url generation from route name, etc. MIT.
  • hunchentoot-cgi – a library for executing CGI scripts from the hunchentoot webserver. BSD.
  • hunchentoot-multi-acceptor – Route multiple domains (virtual hosts) on a single hunchentoot acceptor using a single port. Apache2.0.
  • hunchentoot-auth – implementing user authentication with passwords. BSD.
  • hunchentoot-errors – Augments Hunchentoot error pages and logs with request and session information. MIT.

Clack plugins

  • clack-errors – Error page middleware for Clack. LLGPL.
  • clath – a single sign-on
    middleware for Clack. It allows basic login with OAuth1.0a, OAuth2
    and OpenID. At the time of writing, it supports authentication from
    Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, StackExchange, Reddit and Github. Apache2.0.
  • clack-pretend – a testing
    and debugging tool for clack. Apache2.0.
  • hermetic – Security for Clack-based web applications. Expat.
  • live-reload – Live reload prototype for clack. LLGPL.
  • clack-static-asset-middleware – a cache-busting static asset middleware for the clack. MIT.

Web frameworks

  • Caveman – A powerful web framework. LLGPL.
    Example projects: Quickdocs
  • hh-web – Framework for building modern web apps. Expat.
  • ningle – A super-micro web framework. LLGPL. ninglex, an extended and noob-friendly ningle (mostly easier handling of query parameters). MIT.
  • radiance – A web application environment and framework . Artistic License 2.0.
  • Lucerne – A minimal web framework built on Clack, inspired by Flask. MIT.
  • Snooze – A RESTful web framework, built on Clack, where routes are just functions and HTTP conditions are just Lisp conditions. LLGPL.
  • Weblocks – A widgets-based framework with a built-in ajax update mechanism that “solves the JavaScript problem”. LLGPL.

REST-focused frameworks:

  • cl-rest-server – a library for writing REST web APIs. Features validation with schemas, annotations for logging, caching, permissions or authentication, documentation via Swagger, etc. MIT.
  • cl-odata-client – Common Lisp client library for accessing OData services. MIT.

There are more projects, more or less discontinued but interesting. See the other ressources.

Assets management

  • Rock – an asset manager for
    Common Lisp. It’s basically a combination of Bower and
    webassets. MIT.

Parsing html

Querying HTML/DOM

See also the XML section below for xpath libraries and more.

HTML generators and templates

  • 👍 spinneret – Common Lisp HTML5 generator. Expat.
  • cl-who – The venerable HTML generator. FreeBSD.
  • Djula – A port of Django’s template engine to Common Lisp. Expat.
  • eco – Fast, flexible, designer-friendly template engine. Expat.
  • TEN – the completness of Djula meets the usability of Eco. MIT.
  • cl-closure-template – Implementation of Google’s Closure templates. LLGPL.
  • flute – An easily composable HTML5 generation library with the most simplistic syntax. MIT.
  • clip – An HTML template processor where the templates are written in HTML. Artistic License 2.0.
  • lsx and markup – Two JSX-like templating engines, where HTML tags are Common Lisp code. markup comes with an Emacs package.

URI handling

  • quri – Another URI library for
    Common Lisp. Supports userinfo, IPv6 hostname, encoding/decoding
    utilities,… BSD_3Clause.
  • cl-slug – a small library to make slugs, mainly for URIs, transform in CamelCase, remove accentuation and punctuation, for english and beyound. LLGPL.


  • Parenscript – A translator from Common Lisp to Javascript. 3-clause BSD. See Trident-mode, an Emacs mode that provides live interaction with the browser.unlicence.
    • paren6 – a set of ES6 macros for Parenscript.
  • parse-js – A package for parsing ECMAScript 3. zlib.
  • JSCL – A CL-to-JS compiler designed to be self-hosting from day one. Lacks CLOS, format and loop.
  • CL-JavaScript – A translator from Javascript to Common Lisp. Not available on Quicklisp. Expat.
  • Wuwei – A toolkit to build Ajax-based web pages. MIT.
  • SmackJack – An Ajax Common Lisp Library using parenscript to generate javascript and hunchentoot (for now) as the web server. Also allows a server-side lisp function to call a client-side parenscript one. MIT.
  • Panic, a Parenscript library for React. Not in Quicklisp. MIT. Its TodoMVC example.
  • remote-js – send JavaScript from Common Lisp to a browser. MIT.
  • sigil – A Parenscript to
    Javascript command line compiler and REPL. MIT.

See also
trident-mode, an Emacs
minor mode for live Parenscript interaction.


  • trivial-imap – tries to make easy some common cases of working with IMAP servers, like reading emails from the server. A thin wrapper over post-office library (which is a fork of Franz’s cl-imap). BSD.
  • mailgun – A thin wrapper to post HTML emails through unlicence.
  • mito-email-auth – Helper to authenticate a website’s users by sending them unique code by email.


See more on cliki.

Static site generators


  • heroku-buildpack-common-lisp – A Heroku buildpack that uses Roswell to compile Common Lisp applications. LGPL3.
  • cube – Kubernetes client library for Common LISP generated from the Swagger specification. MIT.
  • s2i-lisp – Source-to-Image builder image based on CentOS or alternatively RHEL7 for building Common LISP images for OpenShift (and also Docker). It features an up-to-date SBCL with Quicklisp installation, SLIME or SLY integration and allows customization via environment variables. Apache2
  • deploy – A toolkit for binary deployment of Lisp applications, with extra support for foreign shared libraries. Artistic License 2.0.
  • cl-aws-runtime-test – An example of using Common Lisp (SBCL) as a custom runtime on AWS lambda. WTFPL.

See also:


  • – client. Grafana dashboard for SBCL and Hunchentoot metrics (memory, threads, requests per second,…). MIT.
  • cl-sentry-client – a Sentry client for Common Lisp, the cloud-based error monitoring system. MIT.

Third-party APIs


Numerical and Scientific

  • numcl – Numpy clone in Common Lisp. LGPL3.
  • magicl – Matrix Algebra proGrams In Common Lisp based on BLAS/LAPACK and Expokit, by Rigetti Computing. BSD_3Clause.
  • cl-spark – Generates sparkline strings for lists of numbers. Expat.
  • GSLL – GNU Scientific Library for Lisp; allows the use of the GSL from Common Lisp. GNU LGPL2.1.
  • common-lisp-stat – Common Lisp statistics library. FreeBSD.
  • maxima – Computer algebra system. Not available on Quicklisp. GNU GPL3.
  • lisp-matrix – A matrix package. FreeBSD.
  • 3-matrices – A library implementing
    common matrix calculations, with an emphasis on 2×2,3×3, and 4×4
    matrices as commonly used in graphics. It provides some numerical
    functions as well, but those are not the focus. The library is
    heavily optimised, so it is not made of pretty
    code. Artistic License 2.0.
  • Xecto – A library for regular array parallelism. 3-clause BSD.
  • Petalisp – an attempt to
    generate high performance code for parallel computers by
    JIT-compiling array definitions. It works on a more
    fundamental level than NumPy, by providing even more powerful
    N-dimensional arrays, but just a few building blocks for working on
    them. AGPL-3.0.
  • cmu-infix – A library for writing infix mathematical notation in Common Lisp. See also polisher.
  • cl-ana – Common Lisp data analysis library with emphasis on modularity and conceptual clarity. It aims to be a general purpose framework for analyzing small and large scale datasets, including binned data analysis and visualization. GNU GPL3.
  • linear-programming – a library for solving linear programming problems. MIT.
  • avm – Efficient and expressive arrayed vector math library with multi-threading and CUDA support. MIT.
  • array-operations – a collection of functions and macros for manipulating Common Lisp arrays and performing numerical calculations with them. MIT.
  • cl-geometry – a system for two dimensional computational geometry for Common Lisp. MIT.
  • clem – a matrix library. BSD_2Clause.
  • physical-quantities – a library that provides a numeric type with optional unit and/or uncertainty for computations with automatic error propagation. GPL2

Parallelism and Concurrency

Actors pattern

  • erlangen – Distributed, asynchronous message passing system for Clozure Common Lisp. GNU GPL3.
  • Actors package for LispWorks (announce) MIT.
  • common-lisp-actors – a simple and easy to use Actor system. BSD_2Clause.
  • memento-mori– a library for writing robust, actor-based systems. It draws inspiration from Erlang/OTP, particularly its crash-first approach to high-availability systems, as well as Akka. MIT.
  • cl-gserver – an Erlang inspired GenServer. It is meant to encapsulate state, but also to execute async operations. Also with actors. Functionality regarding state is not unsimilar to Clojure’s Agent or cl-actors. MIT.

Event processing

  • simple-tasks – A very
    simple task scheduling framework. Artistic License 2.0.
  • deeds – Deeds is an Extensible
    Event Delivery System. It allows for efficient event delivery to
    multiple handlers with a complex event filtering
    system. Artistic License 2.0.
  • cl-flow – Data-flowish computation tree library for non-blocking concurrent Common Lisp. MIT.
  • event-glue – simple eventing abstraction. No dependencies. It can be used anywhere you need a generic event handling system. MIT.

Job processing

  • SBCL’s timers, system-wide event schedulers.
  • psychiq – redis-based background job processing for Common Lisp applications. Inspired by Ruby’s Sidekiq and compatible with its web UI. LLGPL.
  • cl-cron – A simple tool that provides cron like facilities. GPL3.
  • clerk – a cron-like scheduler with sane DSL. MIT.



Writing, running scripts

  • 👍 Roswell
    a lisp installer and scripting environment (helper, launcher,
    installer) and more. MIT.
  • cl-all – A script to run Lisp snippets in multiple implementations. This allows you to quickly compare implementation behaviour and differences. Artistic License 2.0.
  • clawk – an AWK implementation embedded into Common Lisp, to search files for lines and perform specified actions on its fields. BSD-style.
  • ScriptL – Shell scripting made Lisp-like! Or, live-coding remote function calls for the shell. Write a command in the REPL, and run it instantly in the shell. LLGPL.

Command-line options parsers

  • 👍 Unix-opts – a command line
    options parser with a concise declaration of options. MIT.
  • CLON – a Command Line Options
    Nuker, with lots of options. ISC.

Readline, ncurses and other graphical helpers

  • cl-readline – a set of
    functions to edit lines as they are typed in, to maintain a list of
    previously-entered command lines, to recall and reedit them and
    perform csh-like history expansion. Emacs and vi editing
    modes. GPL3.
  • Linedit – Readline-style
    library that provides customizable line-editing
    features. MIT-style.
  • cl-charms – an
    interface to libcurses in Common Lisp. It provides both a raw,
    low-level interface to libcurses via CFFI, and a more higher-level
    lispier interface. MIT.
  • replic – helpers to turn existing code into a readline application, with a focus on defining the completion of the commands’ arguments. Also comes as a ready to use executable, that transforms a user’s lispy init file into readline commands. MIT.
  • cl-ansi-term – print
    colorized text, horizontal lines, progress bars, (un)ordered lists
    and tables on ANSI-compliant terminals. GPL3.
  • cl-progress-bar – progress bars, just like in Quicklisp ! MIT.

Shells, shells interfaces

  • shcl – a POSIX-like shell in Common Lisp. Apache2.0.
  • Shelly – execute Common Lisp
    functions like a shell command, without the need to write a command
    line arguments parser. And it also can be used as a Make-like
    build-tool. FreeBSD.
  • Clesh – extends Common Lisp to embed shell code in a manner similar to perl’s backtick. FreeBSD.

System administration

  • Adams – UNIX system administration in Common Lisp. Not unlike Ansible, Chef or Puppet. ISC.

Other scripting utilities

  • WCL [staled] – allow hundreds of Lisp
    applications to be realistically available at once, while allowing
    several of them to run concurrently. WCL accomplishes this by
    providing Common Lisp as a Unix shared library that can be linked with
    Lisp and C code to produce efficient applications. For example, the
    executable for a Lisp version of the canonical Hello World!
    program requires only 20k bytes on 32 bit x86 Linux. WCL also
    supports a full development environment, including dynamic file
    loading and debugging. A modified version of GDB is used to debug WCL
    programs, providing support for mixed language debugging.

Text Editor Resources

This contains plugins and other goodies for various text editors.

  • Parinfer – Parinfer is a way to edit lisp code that helps to keep both the indentation and the parenthesis balanced. It is easy to start with and yet it offers advanced features à la Paredit. It is available on many editors (Emacs, Vim, Neovim, Atom, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, LightTable, CodeMirror,…).


  • Slime – Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Emacs; a full-blown environment for Common Lisp inside of Emacs. Public domain.
  • 👍 Sly – SLY is a fork of SLIME and contains multiple improvements upon it.
  • 👍 Portacle – A portable and multiplatform Common Lisp environment: SBCL, Quicklisp, Emacs, Slime, Git.
  • cl-devel2 – a Docker container for Common Lisp development environment. Ships SBCL, CCL, Roswell and Emacs25 with Slime.

Vim & Neovim

  • SLIMV – Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Vim; a full-blown environment for Common Lisp inside of Vim. No license specified.
  • Vlime – VLIME: Vim plus Lisp Is Mostly Evil. A Common Lisp dev environment for Vim (and Neovim). MIT.
  • quicklisp.nvim – A Quicklisp frontend for Neovim.
  • Slimv_box – slimv in a Docker container.


  • Dandelion – a Common Lisp plugin for the Eclipse IDE.



  • SLIMA allows you to
    interactively develop Common Lisp code, turning Atom into a
    pretty good, and actively developped, Lisp IDE. MIT.

Sublime Text

  • Sublime Text (proprietary) has
    Common Lisp support with its SublimeREPL and
    Slyblime packages. Slyblime
    is an implementation of SLY and it uses the same backend (SLYNK). It
    ships advanced features including a debugger with stack frame


Geany (experimental)


  • cl-jupyter – A Common Lisp kernel for Jupyter notebooks custom licence.
  • common-lisp-jupyter – A Common Lisp kernel for Jupyter along with a library for building Jupyter kernels, based on Maxima-Jupyter by Robert Dodier which was based on cl-jupyter by Frederic Peschanski. MIT.
  • Darkmatter – A
    notebook-style Common Lisp environment. MIT.


  • cl-repl – an ipython-like REPL. With completion, shell commands, magic commands, debugger, etc. MIT. With colorthemes.
  • sbcli – a readline REPL for SBCL. With completion, quick commands, optional syntax highlighting (with pygments), and no interactive debugger. GPL3.
  • magic-ed – a tiny editing facility, where you can directly load, edit, manipulate and evaluate file or file content from the REPL, when going to a full IDE is too much. MIT.

Online editors

  • Judge0 IDE is an online editor which supports Common Lisp (SBCL). MIT.


  • CodePlayground – an iPhone and iPad app with Lisp support via CCL.

Text Parsers

  • esrap – Packrat parser. Expat.
  • cl-yacc – a LALR(1) parser generator. MIT.
  • cl-shlex – simple lexical analyzer for shell-like syntaxes. MIT.
  • smug – parser combinators for Common Lisp. SMUG makes it simple to create quick extensible recursive descent parsers without funky syntax or impenetrable macrology. MIT.
  • parseq – a library for parsing sequences such as strings and lists using parsing expression grammars. Inspired by Esrap. GPL2.
  • texp – A DSL to generate TeX. AGPL-3.0.

Text Processing

  • montezuma – Full-text indexing and search for Common Lisp. Expat.
  • mk-string-metrics
    Calculate various string metrics efficiently in Common Lisp
    (Damerau-Levenshtein, Hamming, Jaro, Jaro-Winkler, Levenshtein,
    etc). MIT.
  • wiki-lang-detect
    Text language identification using Wikipedia data. No license specified.


These are applications or bits of code that make development in Common Lisp easier without being Common Lisp libraries themselves.

Unit Testing



Compression / decompression


  • 👍 py-configparser – reads and writes Python’s ConfigParser-like configuration files. MIT.
  • envy – Configuration switcher. FreeBSD.
  • chameleon – a configuration management library shipped with profile support. MIT.


  • cl-csv – A library for parsing CSV files. 3-clause BSD.
  • cl-decimals – Decimal number parser and formatter. Public domain.
  • auto-text – automatic (encoding, end of line, column width, csv delimiter etc) detection for text files. MIT. See also inquisitor for detection of asian and far eastern languages.

Date and time

  • localtime – A development library for manipulating date and time information in a semi-standard manner. 3-clause BSD.
  • cl-date-time-parser – Parse date-time-string, liberally. Hides the difference between date-time formats, and enables to manage date and time as the one date-time format. MIT.
  • chronicity – A natural language date and time parse, to parse strings like “3 days from now”. BSD_3Clause.
  • local-time-duration
    Duration processing library built on top of local-time. MIT.
  • iso-8601-date – Miscellaneous date routines in Common Lisp, based around the ISO 8601 string representation. LLGPL.
  • calendar-date – a Gregorian calendar date library. MIT.
  • periods – manipulating date/time objects at a higher level. With series-compatible data structure. BSD_3Clause.

Data validation

  • ratify – A collection of utilities to ratify, validate and parse inputs. Artistic License 2.0.
  • clavier – General purpose validation library for Common Lisp. MIT.
  • json-schema – A library for validating data against schemas of drafts 4, 6, 7, and 2019-09 of the JSON Schema standard. LLGPL.
  • sanity-clause – a data serialization/contract library for Common Lisp. Schemas can be property lists or class-based, allowing to check slots’ types during make-instance. LLGPL.

Developer utilities

  • repl-utilities – Ease
    common tasks at the REPL (print documentation, print external symbols,
    call hooks when loading a package,…). BSD_2Clause.
  • flight-recorder – a robust REPL history facility.
  • tracer – tracing profiler for Common Lisp, with output suitable for display in Chrome’s/Chromium’s Tracing Viewer. MIT.
  • cl-flamegraph – A wrapper around SBCL’s statistical profiler, to generate FlameGraph charts for Common Lisp programs. BSD.
  • cl-debug – a cross-package debug facility. Provides a unified way to enable or disable debug-specific code. Debugging code can be enabled or disabled relative to program features denoted by either a symbol or a keyword. ISC licence.
  • supertrace – Superior Common Lisp trace functionality for debugging/profiling. Trace many functions at once, use before and after hooks. BSD_2Clause.
  • GTFL – A graphical terminal for Lisp, meant for Lisp programmers who want to debug or visualize their own algorithms. A graphical trace in the browser. BSD-style.
  • trivial-with-current-source-from – Helps macro writers produce better errors for macro users. GPL3.
  • trivial-benchmark – Tiny benchmarking library. Artistic Licence 2.0.
  • glyphs – A library for cutting down the verboseness of Common Lisp in places. GNU GPL3.
  • Lisp REPL core dumper
    A portable wrapper to generate Lisp cores on demand to start REPL blazing fast.
    It can preload provided systems to help build a collection of specialized
    Lisp cores.

Documentation builders

  • sphinxcontrib-cldomain
    Extending Sphinx to cover Common Lisp. To build documentation with
    the same ease as sphinx would a Python project. GPL3
  • Codex – A beautiful
    documentation system for Common Lisp. MIT.
  • Staple – a tool to generate
    documentation pages using an HTML template. Uses the existing
    README, adds docstrings, crossreferences and links to the
    CLHS. ArtisticLicense2.0.
  • cl-bibtex – A compatible re-implementation of the BibTeX program in Common Lisp, with a BST-to-CL compiler. GNU LGPL2.1.
  • mgl-pax – Exploratory
    programming environment and documentation generator. one may
    accomplish similar effects as with Literate Programming, but
    documentation is generated from code, not vice versa. Code is first,
    code must look pretty, documentation is code. MIT.
  • erudite – Literate Programming System built with interactive development in mind. MIT.

Files and directories

  • uiop and its pathname package
    (replaces cl-fad). uiop is part of ASDF3
    and as thus is shipped in many implementations. MIT.
  • osicat – A lightweight operating system interface on POSIX-like systems (directory iteration and deletion, environment variables, file permissions, etc) Expat.
  • pathname-utils – A
    collection of utilities to help with pathname
    operations. Artistic License 2.0.
  • ppath – Common Lisp’s
    implementation of the Python’s os.path module. BSD.
  • archive – a library for reading and creating archive (tar, cpio) files. BSD_3Clause. A pure Common Lisp replacement for the ‘tar’ program.
  • mmap – Portable mmap file memory mapping utility library. zlib.

File watching libraries:

  • cl-inotify – interface to the Linux inotify API. Simplified BSD License.
  • cl-fswatch – an CFFI wrapper of fswatch, a cross-platform file change monitor. ISC.



Linting, code formatting


  • log4cl – Logging framework modelled after Log4J. Apache2.0. Advanced integration with Slime.
  • verbose – A fast and highly configurable logging framework. Artistic License 2.0.
  • a-cl-logger – Logging library providing context sensitive logging of more than just strings to more than just local files or output streams. Features logstash support, json support, logger hierarchies, context sensitive logging, objects printed as an inspectable presentation,…

To third parties:

See also: extensive comparison of logging libraries.


  • 3bmd – a markdown -> html converter. MIT.



  • vgplot – an interface to the
    gnuplot plotting utility with the intention to resemble some of
    the plot commands of octave or matlab. GPL3.
  • eazy-gnuplot – a
    lispy, structure-less Gnuplot library. With its
    cookbook. LLGPL
  • kai – A high-level plotter library for Common Lisp. A wrapper around the Plotly JS library. MIT.
  • cl-spark – sparkline strings for the console: (spark '(1 1 2 3 5 8)) => “▁▁▂▃▅▇”. MIT.



This contains anything which doesn’t fit into another category.


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